All the very best to all members of the ever-vibrant NTW community on New Year's Eve.  2012 was a fantastic year culturally, and we will all have extraordinary memories.  I'm incredibly proud of the shows that NTW produced during Year 2 of our programme - from the outrageous Village Social to the epic Coriolan/us, from the fine detail of A Provincial Life to the adrenalin rush of Little Dogs, from the political questioning of The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning to the bold experiment of Branches and the poetry of In Water I'm Weightless.  Huge thanks to the many amazing artists who made it all happen.  Equally importantly, NTW's Year 2 saw us really invest in the kind of developmental work that will help ensure there's a richness of theatre ideas and talent in the future - from WalesLab, which created an ever-growing catalogue of new experiments, to the inaugural Wales Drama Award.  Our 'democratically-elected' Assembly events took theatre and debate to communities that had something they passionately wanted to explore - ending with the extraordinary Bangor SuperAssembly. And NTW TEAM became ever more central to our work - with TEAM members in every corner of Wales and the new TEAM panel helping to shape the company's direction.  It's a privilege to work alongside the many amazing communities and individuals who make all this work happen.

It was great too to feel part of a vibrant wider theatre scene in Wales - I've got a long list of favourite shows from the year, but some particularly strong memories include Marc Rees's extraordinary Adain Avion - a huge plane traversing Wales - truly inspired; the vast commitment and collaboration of Valleys Kids' The Torchbearers, created with partners in South Africa; Theatr Clwyd's powerful production of Matt Trevannion's first play, Bruised; and to end the year on a perfect note, Caroline Sabin's glorious Curious Zoo in her very own house.  There were many more.

On January 24 we will announce NTW's Year 3 programme - and I'm certainly looking forward to sharing a new theatrical journey with you.  There are tasks ahead - from building a better and more joined-up approach to new writing in Welsh theatre to addressing the range and diversity of artists and audiences for theatre in Wales today.  At NTW we will have a big transition when we say goodbye to our founding Executive Producer, the wonderful Lucy Davies in April.  But if we can approach the future's challenges and changes with the creativity that Welsh theatre has been showing in its productions and collaborations, we can do anything!  Have a grand party in the meantime. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.

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Comment by Adam Somerset on January 12, 2013 at 8:33

NTW 2012 provided a theatre first for me- the first time ever a member of the audience has come up to me and asked if she could drive home in sight of my back lights for reasons of safety. ("Food for Thought" in May).

I thought "Branches" was much under-valued critically. Deeside is just that bit too far from the epicentre. I'm not sure if "experiment" is the right adjective- I asked a couple of sisters, aged nine and eleven, what they thought- to them it was rock music, story-telling, dressing up, Ewoks hiding in the woods, and a whole lot of enjoyment.

Comment by Laurence Allan on January 10, 2013 at 16:30

So rewarding to have our production TORCHBEARERS included as one of your favorites John. Particularly as we were so scandalously ignored by the critics - but not in South Africa. The young - and not so young people of the valleys and the townships deserved more. I know they will lap up your praise when I pass it on. Happy new year!

Many thanks Larry

Comment by Ben Mellor on January 10, 2013 at 15:34

Thrilling to read about John, only wish I could've seen some of it! My new year's resolution is to make it over to see at least one production in your new season... Look forward to the announcement.

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